Why Fall Prevention Is So Important for the Elderly

According to the National Council of Aging, every 11 minutes, an adult over the age of 65 is admitted to the emergency room due to a fall. And every 19 minutes, an elderly passes away due to a fall.

These statistics might be frightening, but with the right prevention methods, your bones can stay stronger for longer, even if you’re already suffering from a degenerative bone disease. 

At Momentum Physical Therapy, our specialists make fall prevention in the elderly a top priority. To help you out, we asked them about the causes of falls in the elderly and the steps someone can take to stay strong and independent at any age.

Why the elderly fall so often 

There are many reasons why the elderly fall more often, including balance issues, muscle loss, low bone density, degenerative diseases of the bones and joints, and hypertension. 

Fortunately, all of these problems are manageable with a combination of diet and physical activity. These lifestyle changes help prevent muscle loss and low bone density, and they can improve balance. 

The role of nutrition in fall prevention 

Lower testosterone in older men and lower estrogen in older women contribute to loss of bone density. However, research shows that increasing protein intake, even in people who’ve already suffered a fall, increases bone density.

If you choose to increase your protein, opt for protein sources that are easily absorbed by the body and don’t come with any additives or preservatives. Fish, poultry, unprocessed meats, and dairy have the highest content of bioavailable protein.

Calcium and vitamin D also play important roles in maintaining healthy bones. Unfortunately, researchers have a hard time replicating the benefits of vitamin D and calcium with supplements, which means you may be better off getting these nutrients from foods and sun exposure.

How staying active can increase bone density and improve conditioning at any age 

Technological advancements have been both a blessing and a curse. Ever since the rise of urbanization and mass-produced goods, most people have never had to plant a seed, pick fruit, or milk a cow. 

However, the human body isn’t designed to be sedentary, and with the rise of office jobs, many people aren’t putting their bones under enough pressure to stimulate the growth of new bone cells. 

Muscle weakness can be problematic too, regardless of your body fat percentage. Being slim won’t protect you against falls if you don’t have strong muscles to keep you stabilized. 

Fortunately, research has found that anyone can enjoy the benefits of exercise. Exercise programs that focus on improving balance and strength, such as those recommended by our experts at Momentum Physical Therapy, have been shown to reduce the incidence of falls by 39% in the elderly.

Prevent falls and get stronger bones and muscles at any age 

Our team at Momentum Physical Therapy uses gentle, fun exercises developed with your comfort in mind. 

If you have balance issues, suffer from chronic pain, or are recovering from an injury or surgery, aquatic therapy can help you maintain your muscle mass and improve your bone density in a pain-free manner. 

Pilates private sessions and physical therapy for orthopedic injuries and joint issues are also available. If you’d like to get stronger and prevent falls, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our team is more than happy to discuss your options.

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